Thursday, 16 September 2010

House of Cards

In what was either an attempt to expand upon personal brand or a large concession to my ego I have ordered a set of business cards for this blog.

At first I wondered if it was a bit old hat in this digital age but after having spoken to a few peers gave in and went for it. Suddenly I found myself sucked in to an American Psycho style process of designing – what font to use? Shall I go with a matt finish? Is grey scaling too 80s? Double or single sided? Include Linkedin information? Twitter? Star sign?!

Ironically I ended up with something relatively simple in plain black and white (see below) but thought I would go for a quote on the back to liven it up:

“Hell, there are no rules around here – we are trying to accomplish something”

Feeling hugely impressed with myself (“Funny quote from Edison coupled with contact information – better copyright this, I've cornered a niche market!”) I hit return on the keyboard and ordered 250 which will duly arrive in a few weeks time.

It was then that I reflected on the card. Followed then by the quote. And a feeling of quiet panic slowly fell over me.

Is HR not meant to provide some rules and, at times, some form of procedure to an organisation? There again, there seems to have been a concerted effort since the 1990s with changes in HRM and more recently in the new millennium the Business Partner approach for a less control and command model – or moves away from the ‘Policy Police’ image to something more flexible.

This being the case, was I projecting a schizophrenic representation of the kind of HR service I can provide and believe in?

I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle (in regards to HR I mean, as opposed to any split personality disorder I may or might not have). We are expected to provide some form of over arching structure and feed in to the business plan, whilst having to give King Solomon-esque advice and solutions to people problems.

At the same time we need to have a brand/image which stands for more than just keeping staff in line and making sure everyone follows procedure – we live in an age which dictates that flexibility in order to get the best from our people, not to mention to attract and retain them.

So where does this leave my card? Not sure really – surely half the success of these things is in the way it is received. As Jeff Bezos says, “your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”.

Fingers crossed mine prompts a smile in my absence.

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